Project Management

A Personal Approach to PM

Mark Mullaly is president of Interthink Consulting Incorporated, an organizational development and change firm specializing in the creation of effective organizational project management solutions. Since 1990, it has worked with companies throughout North America to develop, enhance and implement effective project management tools, processes, structures and capabilities. Mark was most recently co-lead investigator of the Value of Project Management research project sponsored by PMI. You can read more of his writing at

As noted in previous articles, there is a lot of ideological conviction tied to the use of techniques such as “agile” and “Scrum”. If we’re going to be fair in the apportionment of indictments, there is a lot of ideological conviction associated with traditional techniques, as well as to standards that won’t necessarily get your project out of the front door.

And then, of course, there is reality. And the real world is where we need to be able to get stuff done. So, regardless of what the methodologies say you should do--and in spite of what the rhetoric says you should have in the way of executive support--there is the simple reality that you’re just a project manager trying desperately to get stuff done with the resources you have. (Or don’t have, as the case may be.)

Some of the comments on the aforementioned article resonate hugely in this regard:

  • “I’m amazed at how quickly my organization was able to corrupt the Scrum framework we decided to push out in earnest approximately 1 year ago. We’re not staffed with a bunch of zealots, so we’re rolling with it and I think we’ll ultimately end up with a form of project management that works for us.”
  • “I would like to have a team dedicated to my project, but I don’t. I would like to have a product owner who is …

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"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato